Blue Martian Babies and Woodcocks


   How much wood would a woodcock cock if a woodcock could cock wood?

   We attended two events at Blue Marsh Lake this past week. First, during a Thursday night program,we learned about the fascinating game bird called the woodcock.

   Next, Saturday, we went and jumped in the lake.

   The woodcock is a migrating bird that nests and mates from late March until June. The female lays one egg a day, usually four. The shells split lengthwise when the chicks hatch! A woodcock eats its weight in worms a day, which seems – gasp – like a lot, but birds don’t weigh a lot. Still. If I had to eat my weight in worms everyday…

   The twenty of us who attended the seminar at the Conference Center heard a recording of the mating calls of the woodcocks. Thereafter we went outside to see if we could see or hear any in natural encouraged habitat.

    The writer of this post spent a good bit of waiting time walking around the exterior of the Visitor Center, enchanted with the view of Blue Marsh Lake in twilight, and feeling the air around the glass,stone and cedar shake structure, drinking in rarity, wondering why more buildings aren’t round.

   There is a poster with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facts about facilities stating 70 percent of the population lives within an hour of a Corps of Engineers lake yet only 10 % of the population visits a facility in a year. The number of facilities outnumbers the number of lakes.

  A bracket of blue men won best costume at the 5th annual Marsh Madness plunge.  The YMCA plunge is a pledge drive to raise money for children programs.

   A sign posted the water temperature of 46 degrees. Two months ago the lake had a foot thick ice coating, no trace of which was seen Saturday morning, when the air temperature reached the sixties, Farenheit.

    Our costume was to bring along a polar bear who wore the official participant wrist band. We jumped in the lake and raised enough to achieve T-shirt but not iceberg level. Next year we hope to improve in the area of contribution and fund-raising. It was definitely fun-raising.

   The best picture was one we didn’t get, because we were all wet. The moment occurred when a group called the Blue Martian Babies gathered at the shoreline of the beach for a photograph. The lake made an iridescent blue-ish mirror, like those silvery sunglasses you can’t really see into, behind the blue men with large diapers and diaper pins. It was both an alien and natural scene, a picture of a picture being taken.

   No herons attended either gathering, which gives us another thing to work on for next year.

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